At first, you could control daily hip discomfort with over-the-counter painkillers, but now even that doesn’t work, so you make an appointment to see your doctor, wondering if you need a hip replacement. To maximize the benefits of that appointment, here are three questions to ask your doctor: Do I really need a hip replacement? How accurate is the placement of the components? How minimally invasive is the surgery?
Below are the answers you should hear.
Do I really need a hip replacement?
First, your doctor should make every effort to help you avoid a hip replacement for as long as possible because hip replacements use artificial components, which have a shelf life. That means they will wear out and need replacing. Unfortunately, each time a surgeon replaces a hip, the patient loses some bone. Therefore, the goal is to preserve the natural hip for as long as possible and perform surgery only when it is strictly necessary.
Although various congenital disorders may lead to hip replacement surgery, the most common reason for undergoing one is arthritis. If a hip has only mild arthritis and no longer responds to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication and rest, your doctor may recommend physical therapy and/or injections to reduce inflammation, which may then alleviate stiffness, swelling and pain.